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Region's voters drive home point about roads

by Nora Edinger

REGIONAL EDITOR

In a complicated world, regional residents' opinions on roads are quite simple. They want smooth, safe highways with as few curves as possible.

Random street interviews indicate residents throughout the area want to complete the controversial Corridor H, which is intended to link North Central West Virginia region to the Virginia state line.

However, a small number of interviewees expressed concerns about the environmental impact of major highway construction in a state that is quickly becoming a recreational tourism leader.

Here are some specific comments readers shared:

Gretchen Cleavenger, Volga

This Barbour County woman is tired of comparing other state's highways to West Virginia's. She believes many mountain highways are treacherous.

"Yesterday's roads belong in yesterday," Cleavenger said. "We have to have highways that will keep up with modern life."

Mark Wood, West Union

This Doddridge County man believes ease of transportation is important to West Virginia's survival.

"The infrastructure is most important," Wood said. 'If we're not able to get from point A to point B, we're going to be in trouble."

For Wood, this means current roads, especially county roads, need improvement and new roads, especially Corridor H, should be built.

"We need that new development to open the state up for tourism and business. Myself, I travel to the D.C. area and it would be nice to be able to cut through there."

Melinda Anderson, Clarksburg

This Harrison County woman believes pavement conditions are deteriorating and would like to see more money dedicated to maintaining existing roadways.

"There are a lot of potholes and back roads that need fixed," Anderson said.

Kristopher Hussman,

Buckhannon and Atlanta

An Atlanta resident attending West Virginia Wesleyan College, Hussman would like to see national-level politicians allocate more money to the development of mass transportation.

In Atlanta, he said the subway system is a nice idea, but does not reach enough areas to make it a practical alternative to driving a car.

"I'm concerned about the environment and pollution," Hussman said of public transportation. "It would save resources. It also promotes community."

Linda Crowl, Buckhannon

Tired of seeing her dozer-operator husband only on weekends during building season, Crowl has a bone to pick with legislators who award big road contracts to out-of-state firms.

"My husband ... has to go out of state to get work," Crowl said. "He's in Manassas, Va. right now. He has 20-something years of experience and can't get a job at home."

Her husband has also worked in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, but never on a large West Virginia contract, she said.

Regional editor Nora Edinger can be reached at 626-1403.

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